This article first appeared on Free Malaysia Today.
- Malaysia would be spending RM72.7 billion or 5% of its gross domestic product on healthcare this year, according to the finance minister, Tengku Zafrul Aziz
- Earlier on, the World Health Organization had said that the expenditure on healthcare should be 7% of a nation’s GDP.
Country To Spend Over Rm70 Bil On Healthcare This Year
The country is expected to spend some RM72.7 billion or 5% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare this year, the finance minister revealed, dismissing claims the government had set aside far less.
Tengku Zafrul Aziz also said the data cited by M Kula Segaran (DAP – Ipoh Barat) was dated.
He said that according to the Malaysia national health accounts’ health expenditure report (1997 – 2019) spending on healthcare, both in the public and private sector, increased from 2016 to 2019.
In 2016, the sum spent represented 4.2% of the GDP and in 2018 the figure rose to 4.4%. The following year it constituted 4.5% of the GDP.
He went on to say that based on the allocations set aside by Putrajaya last year, the amount spent on healthcare came up to RM63.8 billion, which accounted for 4.7% of the nation’s GDP.
“The 3.8% figure cited by Ipoh Barat was based on 2018 data,” he said in a written reply to Kula.
Kula had asked Tengku Zafrul about the government’s plans to increase spending on healthcare, which the World Health Organization had said should be 7% of a nation’s GDP.
He went on to say that the amount spent on healthcare proved that the government was prioritizing it.
“The private sector too is playing an important role in providing healthcare services in the country.”